After wrapping up his team selection process for the federal and provincial set-up, its back to business as usual for the Kaptaan .For all practical reasons, the Prime Minister should be consulting his economic advisors on how to arrange the $12 billion required to pay back our foreign debts. At the moment, the available choices for borrowing before him could be to knock on the doors of the IMF, Saudi Arabia, IDB, or China. It is an open secret that every lender has its own set of harsh conditions for lending money. So, any unwise and illogical decision will put Pakistan’s national security at stake. Should Pakistan knock the doors of the IMF? The PTI government and Imran Khan must remember the fact that the US has majority voting rights in the IMF, and Mike Pompeo has already advised them to not entertain any request from Pakistan for a bail-out package. Additionally, Trump also put Pakistan on notice for security issues in Afghanistan, and in light of the prevailing hostile environment, is it wise for Pakistan to approach the IMF for which they will have to surrender to the US’ conditions of “Do more in Afghanistan”? Should Pakistan then turn to Saudi Arabia for help? Well, that might not be ideal either. They would impose their own conditions, which could include asking Pakistan to send its troops to fight with the Yemenis and help capture the Red Sea Yemeni port called Aden; all in the name of Saudi Arabia’s desire for regional domination. Are we ready to make this sacrifice? Furthermore, this move would also threaten Pakistan’s relationship with Iran. This is a complex situation, and the PTI and Khan would have to think long and hard of all the possible outcomes before they make a concrete decision. In the end there is always the option of China. After all, we are neighbours and natural strategic partners. We have much in common, and we once even facilitated Dr. Kissinger in meeting with Zhou Enlai in 1970. Now we are helping them with CPEC, and without this vital link of the Belt and Road initiative, China can’t move on. It is worth remembering that China has $3 trillion cash deposits in its commercial banks for lending, so why not take our problem to them? Hopefully, being a time- tested friend, they will step forward in this difficult period and bail Pakistan out. Perhaps then the PTI will have the resources to implement its ambitious economic agenda. Should Pakistan then turn to Saudi Arabia for help? Well, that might not be ideal either. They would impose their own conditions, which could include using Pakistani troops to fight in Yemen and capture the Aden port However, the PTI and Imran Khan have other internal challenges that need to be addressed before any progress can be made. As everyone knows, Khan has given hope to the people of Pakistan, especially the youth, but, unfortunately, Imran and a majority of his close lieutenants lack political wisdom, as well as ruling experience, which showed in his disappointing choices for the Chief Ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. Sooner or later he will have to revisit his flawed decisions, as inevitable problems rise in due time. There is also a need to revamp the existing bureaucratic system. The PTI government should remember that if they fail to revamp the existing obsolete bureaucratic system in place to meet the standards of the 21st century, then their fate is written on the wall. Cosmetic changes will not help Khan deliver what he promised to his enthusiastic voters. He should remember that the reason why Zulfikar Ali Bhutto failed to implement his reform agenda was simply because he relied on this colonial bureaucracy, and it abandoned him. Whether there are issues pertaining to the Civil- Military relationship, Foreign Policy, or economy etc, the PTI government will only be able to assert their authority if they succeed in delivering at least half of the many promises he made during his election campaign. However, that is only possible with an efficient bureaucratic machine in place, which will not only add to public morale, but help the Khan retain their trust as well. Imran Khan should not forget how Bhutto died, and who was responsible. He played too close to the fire and got burned as a result, by making unwise moves and over estimating his power over the country. Khan would also do well in remembering Dr. Kissinger’s prophetic words that “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” The US is already punishing Pakistan through their regional allies, and may even use their influence in the Middle East to force Pakistan in to submitting to their terms. Whatever eventually happens, all we can do is wait. The writer is the author of Half Truth. He tweets at @ferrukh_mir Published in Daily Times, September 15th 2018.